Sheffield United fans were left disgruntled after being stuffed by a sensational Gillingham side. Luke Norris bundled in the first before former Spurs midfielder Emmanuel Oshiljala doubled the lead. John Egan made it three and There was still time for one more as midfielder Bradley Dack sent the Blades packing with a splendid strike from 25 yards. Many people will have to rethink after United were formally favourites for the trophy. After today’s performance this is certainly not the case.
The Blades were not the only promotional favourites to lose their way. Both Wigan Athletic and Peterborough were engulfed by statistically inferior opposition. Adam Armstrong was the difference between the two former Premier League sides in Coventry. The Newcastle youngster sliced through the Latics defence for his first, before a glancing header secured the points. Posh start the season with high expectation and a new manager in Dave Robertson, but were overrun in every department by an intense Rochdale side. Teenage debutant Tobi Adebayo-Rowling stretched to hand Callum Camps the opener. With Posh on the back foot Reuben Noble-Lazarus made the points safe when he fired past Ben Alnwick
Bury, Southend and Burton all took points on their opening games after promotion from League Two. The Brewers were the only side to take the maximum spoils, giving Jimmy Floyd Hassilbaink something to smile about after being repeatedly linked with a move away over the summer. Bury and Southend both played out 1-1 draws, with the shakers goal coming in extraordinary circumstances. In an attempt to play the ball back to the opposition goalkeeper Harry Forrester inadvertently found the net, leading to a heated dispute on the touchline. After a long discussion the decision was made the Bury would be aloud to walk to ball into the net, an act of sportsmanship rarely seen on the modern game. Southend grabbed their point thanks to an outrageous late equalizer from David Worrall. Fleetwood had taken an early lead from Declan McManus’ striker after a ferocious Fleetwood break.
The individual performance of the day came from Nathan Byrne. The ex Spurs youngster was a right back regular fro the Robins last season, but over the summer has been converted to an attacking midfielder. He proved his manager right by hitting a sensational hat-trick against a Bradford side that many fancy for promotion.
Steve Morison hit the headlines by returning to The Den for a third time last week, solving Neil Harris’ frantic striker search. Despite James Collins opening the scoring for Shrewsbury Town in the 55th minute, Morison was soon on the score sheet , tapping in at the back post. Against all odds The Lions would take all three points back to London when Lee Gregory converted from Spot in the 67th minute.
Walsall began the season with a point at home Oldham Athletic. Both will have aspirations of a top half finish, despite making few additions in the transfer window. Dean Smith’s men were quick out of the blocks Roamine Sawyers putting them ahead just 7 minutes in. The West Midlands side would preserve their lead until 6 minutes from full time when Jonathan Forte
Chesterfield got their campaign off to a great start after defeating fellow promotion hopefuls Barnsley. Conor Wilkinson had given the Tykes an early lead and walked in at the break with the lead. Dean Saunders men came back out fighting and were soon on level terms through Jay O’Shea. Syvain Ebanks-Blake marked his comeback with a goal the give the Spirites the lead. The turn around was completed by Sam Morsy who has recently been strongly linked with a host of second tier sides.
Darren Ambrose thwarted Blackpool on his Colchester United debut by securing a point after the visitors had lead 2-1 at the break. Fellow debutant Mark Cullen put in a confident display in front of new fans, grabbing two goals to give the Seasiders the lead before Ambrose pounced.
In the final result of the day, Port Vale were held to a stalemate after the short journey to Crewe Alexandra. Vale were overwhelmingly the better side, young goalkeeper Ben Garrett thwarting Louis Dodds and Sam Foley in the opening 45. The one time Uche Ikpeazu did beat Garrett the lineman ruled the ball had already rolled out of play, finalizing the score as 0-0.
Burton Albion 2-1 Scunthorpe United
Chesterfield United 3-1 Barnsley
Colchester United 2-2 Blackpool
Crewe Alexandra 0-0 Port Vale
Doncaster Rovers 1-1 Bury
Fleetwood Town 1-1 Southend
Gillingham 4-0 Sheffield United
Rochdale 2-0 Peterborough United
Swindon Town 4-1 Bradford City
Walsall 1-1 Oldham Athletic